Mopeds vs motorcycles

Hello everyone,

I am new to this site- I was just surfing around and thinking back nostalgically to my moped days as a youth. Basically, I began riding mopeds on the street at age 13 when I lived in Italy. For 3 years, it was a never ending escalation of bigger, faster, better mopeds until I left the country 3 years later. By law, we were limited to 50cc machines until age 16- at which time you were allowed to ride up to a 125cc machine. So, we used to just hot-rod the hell out of our 'peds- expansion chamber pipes, 19mm carbs, big bore kits, disc brakes, it was kinda out of hand. But, it was a helluva lot of fun and made my teenage years some of the best of my life.

Anyway, to get to the point- when I got to the U.S., it was a natural progression for me to get into motorcycles. Sixteen years later I am an avid motorcyclist and drive an 1100cc machine. I viewed mopeds as the "beginning chapter" in my lifelong love of motorcycling. Why is it that more moped riders don't make the leap into motorcycling? Riding a moped is really no different than a motorcycle. The sensation, fun, and freedom is the same, but I just feel that motorcycles enchance the joy a bit more. Why bother spending enough money modifying ones' moped to the point that they could have purchased themselves a really nice, used motorcycle that will obliterate the pricey little 50cc screamer? Sometimes I will hear people argue that mopeds/scooters are less dangerous than motorcycles. Personally, I don't see how this can possibly be true. I feel that the level of risk is at least the same- you're on two wheels, mixing it up in traffic with cars, and just as vulnerable. In fact, I feel that mopeders might even be at more risk due to the fact that you cannot really use the vehicle's horsepower (or lack thereof) to get out of a bad situation.

Also, there seems to be some animosity that mopeders have against motorcycles. Is this true?

Please, I in no way intend for this post to disparage any of you fine folks. Quite the contrary. I really love all forms of motorized 2-wheel transportation- Mopeds included!! Some of my life's best memories were made on mopeds. I have just always wondered why people ride mopeds/scooters rather than motorcycles.

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

Jessie S. Band /

I have been pondering whether to get myself a better moped or whether I should get a motorcycle. However, I think mopeds are great because they have pedals (usually); if something breaks down (or you run out of gas) you can always pedal to safety! Also Mopeders cool because they don't conform to the norm (even to the norm of two wheeled vehicles)! But it's a good question, worth some thought.

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

XBrandon EdgeX /

Okay, kids, today's essay question: Why do I prefer the moped over other forms of transportation?...

Overall cost.

Here in the states, mopeds require little to no law-controlled costs, such as licensing, insurance, and registration. All I need is a class A license (the most basic license you can get) and a can of two stroke gas. I don't need plates or any licensing stickers in South Dakota.

Efficiency.

They get between 75 and 150 miles per gallon. Few motorcycles can get 75.

Simplicity.

When I took a moped engine apart for the first time, I realized that there was virtually nothing to it! There's less to go wrong and when something goes wrong, it's an easy fix.

Individuality.

Unless I'm riding with my friends, I never see another moped. Almost every moped I see, I know the person.

Driver to drivee weight ratio.

Motorcycles are turning into two-wheeled cars lately (Honda Goldwing, for example). A lot of motorcycles can't even be lifted back onto their wheels should they fall over. I could probably carry my moped, should the need arise. Not for several blocks or anything, but should I need to lift it out of a hole or up onto a tall curb, I can. It's more of an extension of your body than something that you're just along for the ride on.

Space.

They take up so little of it, you can park on the sidewalk.

No exessiveness.

When you ride a moped through town, you use most or all of it's power and speed. You can buy a motorcycle that'll do 180mph, but it's useless on the street. You end up paying for power you'll never use. When you're in town, you don't need more than 30 mph anyways. The moped is efficiency at it's finest.

Why mopeds? Why not?

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

Hats off zxrider

I think that was an excellent tribute to riding in general!zxrider.

Normally mopeders get the worst, but you gave us a nod.

My feeling is, it's the craziest feeling in the world, to zip past people unawares, in shorts,no helmet (although i don't advise this) on a machine with almost no suspension. Feel for the road is 100%, because the next ditch will kill you. Motorcyclists miss the death defying feel of riding a moped..

A bit overstated

Brandon... I agree with some of what you said... but some of it is a bit overstated

>

Overall cost.

Here in the states, mopeds require little to no law-controlled costs, such as licensing, insurance, and registration. All I need is a class A license (the most basic license you can get) and a can of two stroke gas. I don't need plates or any licensing stickers in South Dakota.

>

Partly true.. but an old motorcycle (even a large one) can run as little as $80 for plates and insurance for the season.

>

Efficiency.

They get between 75 and 150 miles per gallon. Few motorcycles can get 75.

>

Not really... many people mistake a mopeds mileage as "mileage"... but its actually kilometers.

I say almost NO mopeds get over 100mpg.

Most only get 70mpg... way low considering how slow they are.

Almost all motorcycles get at least 40... many get 50... the smaller ones (smaller than 500cc) get 60.

Motorcycles win that one.

>

Simplicity.

When I took a moped engine apart for the first time, I realized that there was virtually nothing to it! There's less to go wrong and when something goes wrong, it's an easy fix.

>

I agree with that... and that is why I like them.

>

Individuality.

Unless I'm riding with my friends, I never see another moped. Almost every moped I see, I know the person.

>

OK... but for every 200 cars or trucks... there is still only about 1 motorcycle. You are still in a tiny minority.

>

Driver to drivee weight ratio.

Motorcycles are turning into two-wheeled cars lately (Honda Goldwing, for example). A lot of motorcycles can't even be lifted back onto their wheels should they fall over. I could probably carry my moped, should the need arise. Not for several blocks or anything, but should I need to lift it out of a hole or up onto a tall curb, I can. It's more of an extension of your body than something that you're just along for the ride on.

>

Very few bikes are getting bigger.

Many are getting lighter.

>

Space.

They take up so little of it, you can park on the sidewalk.

>

Mopeds and motorcycle are both small and can fit in small spaces everywhere.

>

No exessiveness.

When you ride a moped through town, you use most or all of it's power and speed. You can buy a motorcycle that'll do 180mph, but it's useless on the street. You end up paying for power you'll never use. When you're in town, you don't need more than 30 mph anyways.

>

You don't have to buy a 180mph bike.

The average motorcycles power gets used a lot.

You can get away from dangerous cars driven by zombies easily.

>

The moped is efficiency at it's finest.

>

Your typical 2 stroke mopeds are typically quite inefficient in terms of mpg.

To Mr ZX who asked the question... Many of us own both.

I use the moped for short trips to the store quite often.

And take motorcycles for longer trips.

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

i come form the UK and although i want to go on to motorbikes when i am old enough i think if i was goin around town or around localy i would still use the ped because you cant go above 30 in residential areas anyway, you only need a CBT licence to ride one they are economical petrol wise and because mine is pretty old and looks crap no one will nick it. I find the problem comes when you want to travel any distance because the minimum speed on a mororway is 30 if you drop a notch you r breakin the law. ok no prob u may think but.... when most ppl are traveling around 70mph it can kinda get dangerous so u need a motorbike with a replacenment 50cc engine

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

My reasons for buying a moped instead of a motorcycle are:

1. Mopeds are easier to handle (for a woman, anyway) because they are lighter in weight. So if I dump mine, I can pick it up.

2. If I run out of gas or otherwise get stranded somewhere, I can pedal the moped home.

3. A moped will fit in the back of a van or small pickup, so is easier to cart around if need be.

4. I can park my moped in a bike rack rather than pay $$$ for parking it!

5.I don't have to get a special designation on my driver's license, nor do I have to take a driving test to operate my moped.

6. It's easier to operate because the transmission is automatic.

7. The best reason is #5 above. No special parking spot needed!

Re: A bit overstated

Jamie Leonard /

.

> >

> Partly true.. but an old motorcycle (even a large one) can

> run as little as $80 for plates and insurance for the season.

- Well to be fair this depends on the size of the motorcycle (here at least it directly depends on engine size and rider record). If I were driving even a very small motorcycle I'd be paying literally 4 times the insurance or more per year. So that depends on the area, on the bike, and on the rider.

> Not really... many people mistake a mopeds mileage as

> "mileage"... but its actually kilometers.

- this depends again, have seen ratings in miles per gallon and kilometers - and of course you have to compare the same to the same to get an accurate result.

> I say almost NO mopeds get over 100mpg.

True, but the average moped still gets anywhere from 20-40mpg more than a motorcycle and if you ride every day to work as I do over the course of a year that isn't a small amount with current gas prices. :)

> Most only get 70mpg... way low considering how slow they are.

> Almost all motorcycles get at least 40... many get 50... the

> smaller ones (smaller than 500cc) get 60.

> Motorcycles win that one.

Actually they win if you count power/mileage maybe... but in mileage they'll always lose out if you're looking strictly at that.

> Simplicity.

> When I took a moped engine apart for the first time, I

> realized that there was virtually nothing to it! There's less

> to go wrong and when something goes wrong, it's an easy fix.

> >

> I agree with that... and that is why I like them.

Agreed. Plus being simpler with basic maintenence on many models they'll last for a LONG time. (how many of you are riding 20 year old machines with 80 percent plus original parts after all)

> OK... but for every 200 cars or trucks... there is still

> only about 1 motorcycle. You are still in a tiny minority.

>

I'd say this depends on the area for both sides. Here I see a lot of motorcycles and few mopeds (but getting to be more) I'd say the ratio here might be closer to 100 to 1 or 50 to 1.. and mopeds being VERY much less common than that. I get stopped 2-3 times a week with people asking me about mopeds these days.... I don't see motorcycle drivers getting stopped very much :)

> Very few bikes are getting bigger.

> Many are getting lighter.

>

Actually I see a trend here for people to keep buying the larger sportsbikes - and seeing as many of them are novice riders they end up as pavement pizza. Not to mention any issues picking it up. Even the lightest motorcycle I've ever seen stilled weighed considerably more than any moped (well excepting perhaps that zundapp moped made that looked exactly like a motorcycle... but how many of THOSE do you see!)

> Mopeds and motorcycle are both small and can fit in small

> spaces everywhere.

>

True, but mopeds are even easier than motorcycles. I can stick mine behind concrete dividers and such because I can pick it up and lift it over things. Can't do that with a motorcycle. Some places I can put it in a bike rack (some people get upset, some don't) and many other places I get stick it in some unused corner where I could never get a motorcycle. But in general both are easy to park, mopeds just have some extra advantages.

> You don't have to buy a 180mph bike.

> The average motorcycles power gets used a lot.

> You can get away from dangerous cars driven by zombies easily.

>

With no mods aside from the biturbo on my machine I don't have any issues getting away from anyone... speed limits on the roads I take are at most 60kph and I can do a good 10 kph above that if I have to. Acceleration is really the only issue where in downtown driving motorcycles have the advantage rather than power. And I find most people (aside from some exceptions) buy them for power, to impress people, or to pick up the opposite sex. :) I bought a moped because I don't care what people thing and I have fun riding it. Why get a motorcycle with more power I wouldn't use where I ride, pay 5 times as much per year, and have it cost twice as much or more to buy in the first place?

> The moped is efficiency at it's finest.

> >

> Your typical 2 stroke mopeds are typically quite inefficient

> in terms of mpg.

>

Comes down to apples and oranges here. They might be inefficient but given the amount of power they use and amount of gas they use... they're still more efficient than a motorcycle for the job of pushing one person around a city. On a strictly power developed for gas used type of examation you're probably right.. but when you look at how much gas they use for pushing one person around downtown... they win.

> To Mr ZX who asked the question... Many of us own both.

> I use the moped for short trips to the store quite often.

> And take motorcycles for longer trips.

Which is the perfect way to do it I'll admit, mopeds aren't exactly suitable for highway usage after all :) (I just have no reason to use the highway.. otherwise I'd look into a vehicle for that as well)

Just my two cents (well ok I might have put in 4... damn inflation)

Jamie

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

Jamie Leonard /

BTW, in regards to animosity of mopeders towards motorcyclists I've never seen it myself (have seen some the other way... but mostly from young idiotic weekend warriors. Serious riders know that anyone on two wheels deserves respect... at least until they open their mouths ;) I've let a few motorcycles drive my moped and they had a blast on it.. would they buy one? Probably not. Did they understand why I like it after riding it? Yep... definitely. Even my brother who rides a 1970 norton commando which could probably outrace me in neutral ;)

Mind you he's never taken me up on my offer to have a distance race with one litre of gas in both our tanks ;)

All in all it comes down to personal preference.. both have their strengths and weaknesses. Neither is better unless you look at just one part of the overall issue... and that doesn't really prove anything in the end. :)

Jamie

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

I ride a moped now because it fits in better with my current, retired, lifestyle. I rode Goldwings for years and several hundred thousands of miles with no accidents, but now I just blast around on my Autopower and love it. When my wife and I go camping colse to home, I tow the fifth wheel and she tows the trailer with my ped and her scoot so we can run around the big state parks here in New York. I can load them both on the trailer by hand so it only takes a little effort. I love anything with two wheels, and maybe one day I'll get back on a big bike, but for now the ped is it.

Poor man's Hot-Rodding

Miniengine /

I enjoy the family aspect of it. The lower cost and less regulations allow a person to buy a fleet of mopeds so the whole family can ride the country side or parks together. The lack of power doesn?t intimidate young or elderly riders so it turns into an enjoyable motorized bike ride without the sweat and cardiac arrest effects. They are the rubber necker's dream machine because they go slow enough that you can take inventory of everything in a farmers fence rows. They are the B.S.er?s dream because you can ride around town and catch neighbors outside for an ear bending

gab session, but still have enough speed to get you home late to give that sheepish grin and the ?I lost track of time? excuses.

Now on the flip side of the coin these little under powered wonders can be a tinker's dream. I enjoy taking a stock moped and Hot Rodding it. The hill you couldn?t make it over last week now becomes the goal of your modifications this week. Little changes to little engines make large performance gains that create large ego boosts. You can get the thrill of looking for antique parts that don?t normally break the budget. Best of all, you don?t need a three car garage to store three mopeds. Last but not least if bought in pairs, they make great mobil saw horses for deck repairs.

Brian

Lamborn's Miniature Engines

http://www.geocities.com/miniengine

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

Ron Brown /

zx,

I have several motorcycles, mostly old and 3 mopeds.

Generally speaking, I find the motorcycles to be economical, comfortable, easy to handle and keep up with traffic and they get you there in the same or less time than a car. The only down side is they crash heavily from all that inertia. Oh well, I have almost recovered from the last one. : )

Mopeds, on the other hand are uncomfortable, having rudimentary "pogo stick" suspension. They are too slow to keep up with traffic in most places, a typical 15 minute trip becomes 45 mins. Handling and brakes are on a par with the rest of the machine but you can stop and get around corners. Like most 2 cycles, they are a bit noisy, smelly and drip a little oil when parked. Having to carry 2 cycle oil is a bit of a drag too.

Why do I ride one? I am not sure, you need to get on one yourself and take a ride.

If the answer to your question is not obvious, you should stick to your big bike. If you can't get the grin of your face, buy a ped and join us.

Ron

The Efficiency Challenge !

The Moped Gawd /

Mr Leonard... I hereby challenge you and your moped to a test of... "Efficiency"!

The mission (should you choose to accept it) would be to determine which form of 2 wheeled transportation is the most efficient in terms of fuel economy.

The test would be..... Any 2 stroke 50cc moped against my 1100cc 20 year old ordinary stock motorcycle.

Run them both till they are out of gas.

Then fill them both with an equal amount (1 gallon?) of their ordinary fuel.

Then ride the same path.

And see who runs out of gas first.

My strategy will simply be to follow you.

I believe you will run out of gas first (getting your normal 60 to 70mpg).

Then I will simply ride past you and go another 5 or 10 miles getting 80mpg at those speeds.. (or at least I think I will) : )

That was my point in discussing 'efficiency' of a ped versus motorcycle.

Despite their extremely low weight and low performance... mopeds are not very efficient at all.

I was surprised to learn this myself .

I used to think my PA50 got 110mpg... then I found out (on this forum!) that it measures kilometers not miles... so I am actually only getting 66mpg or so.

Considering how slow they are going... that is not very good.

Going a steady 75mph... my 100hp 550 pound motorcycle will get 50mpg.

At 75 I am pushing a LOT of air.

Slowing down to 30mph means my economy goes way up... from 50mpg... to ????mpg

Don't anybody take this wrong... I am not ragging on mopeds.

I wouldn't post here if I didn't ride them and enjoy them.

And I don't think this challenge will actually happen (Jamie, we live too far apart).

(though maybe Ron or Ree would be dumb enough (like me) to do this)

Or I could just do a solo test at 30 mph and check mileage.

I justed wanted to point out the truth about efficiency.

If you really want efficient 2 wheeled transportation, you would get a 250cc or smaller 4 stroke motorcycle and ride slowly... they will do 100mpg ridden slowly... and still go 75mph with 20hp when needed.

A mileage competition in the 80's had a bike like I described doing 280mpg after basic modifications (and streamlining).

That was ridden very slowly (like 25mph max) and coasted when possible.

Just a few facts for fun.

I am going riding now. : )

Jamie Leonard wrote:

>

> .

> > >

> > Partly true.. but an old motorcycle (even a large one) can

> > run as little as $80 for plates and insurance for the season.

>

> - Well to be fair this depends on the size of the motorcycle

> (here at least it directly depends on engine size and rider

> record). If I were driving even a very small motorcycle I'd

> be paying literally 4 times the insurance or more per year.

> So that depends on the area, on the bike, and on the rider.

>

> > Not really... many people mistake a mopeds mileage as

> > "mileage"... but its actually kilometers.

>

> - this depends again, have seen ratings in miles per gallon

> and kilometers - and of course you have to compare the same

> to the same to get an accurate result.

>

> > I say almost NO mopeds get over 100mpg.

>

> True, but the average moped still gets anywhere from 20-40mpg

> more than a motorcycle and if you ride every day to work as I

> do over the course of a year that isn't a small amount with

> current gas prices. :)

>

> > Most only get 70mpg... way low considering how slow they are.

> > Almost all motorcycles get at least 40... many get 50... the

> > smaller ones (smaller than 500cc) get 60.

> > Motorcycles win that one.

>

> Actually they win if you count power/mileage maybe... but in

> mileage they'll always lose out if you're looking strictly at

> that.

>

> > Simplicity.

> > When I took a moped engine apart for the first time, I

> > realized that there was virtually nothing to it! There's less

> > to go wrong and when something goes wrong, it's an easy fix.

> > >

> > I agree with that... and that is why I like them.

>

> Agreed. Plus being simpler with basic maintenence on many

> models they'll last for a LONG time. (how many of you are

> riding 20 year old machines with 80 percent plus original

> parts after all)

>

>

> > OK... but for every 200 cars or trucks... there is still

> > only about 1 motorcycle. You are still in a tiny minority.

> >

> I'd say this depends on the area for both sides. Here I see

> a lot of motorcycles and few mopeds (but getting to be more)

> I'd say the ratio here might be closer to 100 to 1 or 50 to

> 1.. and mopeds being VERY much less common than that. I get

> stopped 2-3 times a week with people asking me about mopeds

> these days.... I don't see motorcycle drivers getting stopped

> very much :)

>

>

> > Very few bikes are getting bigger.

> > Many are getting lighter.

> >

> Actually I see a trend here for people to keep buying the

> larger sportsbikes - and seeing as many of them are novice

> riders they end up as pavement pizza. Not to mention any

> issues picking it up. Even the lightest motorcycle I've ever

> seen stilled weighed considerably more than any moped (well

> excepting perhaps that zundapp moped made that looked exactly

> like a motorcycle... but how many of THOSE do you see!)

>

>

> > Mopeds and motorcycle are both small and can fit in small

> > spaces everywhere.

> >

> True, but mopeds are even easier than motorcycles. I can

> stick mine behind concrete dividers and such because I can

> pick it up and lift it over things. Can't do that with a

> motorcycle. Some places I can put it in a bike rack (some

> people get upset, some don't) and many other places I get

> stick it in some unused corner where I could never get a

> motorcycle. But in general both are easy to park, mopeds

> just have some extra advantages.

>

>

> > You don't have to buy a 180mph bike.

> > The average motorcycles power gets used a lot.

> > You can get away from dangerous cars driven by zombies

> easily.

> >

> With no mods aside from the biturbo on my machine I don't

> have any issues getting away from anyone... speed limits on

> the roads I take are at most 60kph and I can do a good 10 kph

> above that if I have to. Acceleration is really the only

> issue where in downtown driving motorcycles have the

> advantage rather than power. And I find most people (aside

> from some exceptions) buy them for power, to impress people,

> or to pick up the opposite sex. :) I bought a moped because

> I don't care what people thing and I have fun riding it. Why

> get a motorcycle with more power I wouldn't use where I ride,

> pay 5 times as much per year, and have it cost twice as much

> or more to buy in the first place?

>

> > The moped is efficiency at it's finest.

> > >

> > Your typical 2 stroke mopeds are typically quite inefficient

> > in terms of mpg.

> >

> Comes down to apples and oranges here. They might be

> inefficient but given the amount of power they use and amount

> of gas they use... they're still more efficient than a

> motorcycle for the job of pushing one person around a city.

> On a strictly power developed for gas used type of examation

> you're probably right.. but when you look at how much gas

> they use for pushing one person around downtown... they win.

>

> > To Mr ZX who asked the question... Many of us own both.

> > I use the moped for short trips to the store quite often.

> > And take motorcycles for longer trips.

>

> Which is the perfect way to do it I'll admit, mopeds aren't

> exactly suitable for highway usage after all :) (I just have

> no reason to use the highway.. otherwise I'd look into a

> vehicle for that as well)

>

> Just my two cents (well ok I might have put in 4... damn

> inflation)

> Jamie

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Wayne Broderick /

An important thing: When you ride, are you trying to save gas?

I know I ride a LOT differently when I know I'm almost out of gas...

I bet rider throttle habits are the main culprit on poor mileage.

If you're using your brakes more than your throttle, maybe you should try to coast more.

I was also told that even with an oil-injector, you should rev a 2-stroke engine up and down, to let it cool and gather oil.... I don't know how true this is, but my ped seems to ride better when I 'rev' it vs. just going 'full throttle'

If you're going to make comparisons about 'economy' I would argue that a moped rider who tried like hell to get the top mileage would beat just about any other vehicle.

How far have you managed to get a moped on the 'reserve' tank by driving like an old lady? I know I've made a reserve tank last a long time when I absolutely had to.

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Wayne Broderick /

Obviously, you can't pedal-assist a motorcycle to help your mileage.

I don't think it would be fair to overturn the use of pedals in a mileage contest...

Great thread though-- I'm enjoying it!

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Jamie Leonard /

Good points except I don't get 60-70 mpg "normally" - I'd estimate 80-100 mpg would be average (80 on days when I get more "stop and go" type traffic)

I think a more accurate efficiency challenge would be to look at gas usage over a period of time anyways (like I said elsewhere in this thread, looking at things from too close a perspective doesn't give an accurate picture) and if you did a month or two's usage of gas... I would suspect you'd see a fair amount of difference.

Actually thats a challenge we COULD do (using the honor system and expecting everyone to report accurate results) - simply put we record our mileage over a months time and also record how much gas we put into the moped/motorcycle (maybe even two months to get a more accurate sampling) That would give a pretty good picture... presuming similar riding habits. (obviously it'd only be fair to compare similar riding environments... urban against urban, rural versus rural)

And I'd agree.. two strokes (more modern ones are a bit better but still lacking) on a strictly CC compared to CC basis are not as efficient.. however I'd still bet a 49cc fairly up to date moped would beat out a larger motorcycle driven downtown. Takes more gas to get a bigger engine and frame up to speed after all, and I think that would more than balance out any efficiency issues. Mind you a 50cc 4 stroke motorbike would likely be an entirely different animal :)

Jamie

Head to head is the only accurate way.

Your "test" version is too open ended... and allows for all kinds of errors and (estimates!?)

Estimates are no good in a test.

Many people here have large odometer errors.

So their data would be unusable.

Only if their odometer error was accurately measured and then compensated for would their data be any good.

That is why for a real head to head no bullshit no estimate test... you fill'em both up and ride the same path.

And to use the average fuel consumption over a set period or mileage is no good either.

It would tell us only what that particular persons fuel consumption is... but does not compare the fuel consumption of the 2 choices head to head, doing the same amount of work for the rider.

If I want to fly down the freeway at 100mph or pull a dragrace start... (neither of which the moped can do)... then you have an unequal test.

And the lesser fuel mileage I get is worth something tangible when I cut my trip time (compared to a ped) from 1 hour to a half hour because my average speed was twice as fast.

If you are claiming economy... then we run for economy... since I can ride for economy anytime I want to... but don't usually.

And NO DANG PEDALING ALLOWED !!!!!!

Sheeeeesh!

(coasting is OK though)

Re: Head to head is the only accurate way.

Jamie Leonard /

Well thats why you'd need to have a few people doing it... problem with one person riding directly against another is it might come down to individual machines and riding habits and such. And if you have 4ish people per group, any errors in odometers would tend to cancel eachother out. Only thing one machine directly against another would prove is that motorcycle A against moped B on that given day, on that given path, and with that particular set of conditions... one is more efficient than the other. Doesn't prove anything in the real world unfortunately (and if we are arguing real world efficiency, we need to average things out and get a group of people doing it)

(plus when you say ride a given path, who picks the path? :)

I think if you wanted to actually show something that might show some real results that mean something... you need a group of people giving results over time. (In an ideal world with several brands of moped and several brand of motorcycles under varying conditions.) That'd really show which was which :)

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Ron Brown /

Your Gawdiness,

I think you may have a problem here. Most motorcycles are tuned for best eficiency at typical speed/rpm combinations. Something like 55-75 mph.

Even if you left the bike in a lower gear to gain revs and potentially get into the valve timing/intake/exhaust optimum range, you would be doing so with a much smaller throttle opening than in high gear at highway speeds.

I read a post on some site a while ago about some experimentation done in Sweden, I think, where they compared gradually accellerating up to speed vs. giving it some stick. The results showed that the faster you reached cruising speed, the less gas you used. The conclusion was that the carburetion was better at cruising speeds.

I don't know if they tested fuel injection, I imagine this would be somewhat better. Meanwhile, on the strength of this survey, get out there and peg it....er officer??

In case it helps, I will try for accurate mpg measurements on the trip to the barbeque. I am hoping to have two Motobecanes and a Batavus, all of which seem to equate "odes" to miles, not kilometers. I will begin the trip with full tanks and refill them when I get back and see what happened. Last year my best estimate was about 90 mpg for the Mb's I think. I posted the info on the site at the time but I did not have real accurate numbers. Something to do with a leaky fuel line and a guy with some gas in a non-calibrated pickle jar. : )

Your obediant subject.

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

jamie leonard /

Good point... will be judging my mileage from next time I fill the tank (Easier that way) onwards for a few weeks. I would think for the lower speeds of downtown urban driving mopeds would have an advantage (but thats partially why I would prefer getting a decent cross sampling of machines and riders :)

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Ron Brown /

Fred,

If you would like to, you are welcome to ride chase for the trip and do a direct comparison, It's only about 200 miles round trip.

Including food and "bum" breaks, about 10 hours total.

Ron

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Yes... but I have it on good authority (a Brit biker riding an 1100) when he was having "problems" of a personal nature which left him virtually penniless and gasless and friendless far from home.

He says he got near to 90mpg by riding very slowly.

His 'problem' also might have affected his perception at the time ... so who knows for sure.

I think the inherant advantages of a relatively modern 4 stroke outweigh the "inefficiency mode" this test would use..... enough to still outdo your typ 2 stroke moped.

And if a big bike like the one I am talking about would... imagine what a modern fuel injected small single tuned for efficiency would do.

(none of them are actually tuned that way as of now.. gas is still pretty cheap)

On the trip thing... I had considered a slow economy test... and I have to say that the discipline needed to stay at say 30mph for long periods of time...(in 5th gear) might be more than I could muster!

... I put on 80 miles yesterday and experimented with speeds on back roads (dirt)... the carb slides were only the tiniest bit off the bottom in 5th gear at 30mph... but I bet I am getting greaaaaaaaaaate gas mileage anyway!

The fuel economy bike that reached 280mpg was a single cylinder Honda 185 with minimal motor mods ... the procedure was to gently accelerate to bout 25 mph... the kill the motor and coast to bout 12.. then bump fire it back up and do it again.

(if I remember right!)

Head to head is the only accurate way.

Your arguments are silly.

You think it is valid to compare apples to oranges.

You can pick the path.. it doesn't matter.. the point is it is the same path.

And if one gets 10 percent better on that day on that path in that weather... they they will have a verrrry similar proportion on another path on another day blah blah blah.

And riding habits of 2 people competing... will be disciplined by the riders for max mileage.

And we already have all the fuel economy data we would ever need for general evaluation of typical motorcycles ridden in their average useage... about 45 mpg as ridden and tested and recorded and printed by many motorcycle magazines all the time.

But that is NOT when ridden for economy... that is hotrodding and high speed mixed with general riding.

You want to ignore the fact that the average motorcycle travels twice the speed of a ped and accelerate at 10 times the rate of the ped (if he so desires).

To compare efficiency you HAVE to ride in the same mode on the same path at the same time.

Re: Head to head is the only accurate way.

jamie leonard /

But you missed some of my points (which I didn't think were silly at all)

1. Averaging out results from different machines means you don't end up proving that ONE moped is more/less efficient than ONE motorcycle - which is all a head to head race would prove. Unless you had several mopeds and several motorcycles.

2. Motorcycles and mopeds have different speeds at which they reach maximum efficiency, and things like idle gas usage would affect them differently. So a lower speed path with lots of stops might favour one machine, whereas a different path would favour another machine - so you'd need to do a few different paths to get any real result (again with different motorcycles and mopeds) This would be the preferred thing I admit, but not likely to happen... whereas just averaging out peoples everyday riding results isn't terribly hard to arrange.

One machine against one other machine will only prove anything for that particular brand compared to another particular brand.... not give any real results for the general machine type. It'd be like having one random person sample a drug from the street and one other person samples another drug... and whomever gets cured first proves the drug works. Doesn't really give any real info.

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

Ron Brown /

Fred,

You have to go!

I can see it in my mind, 3 of us pedding along and you bringing up the rear with the accelerate, coast and bump routine. : )

Ron

Thanks Everyone!

Thanks to all for your responses. I am glad to see that my post was able to generate so much discussion.

It seems that the answer I am looking for can be summed up in one word: Efficiency.

Judging by the responses, it seems to me that a direct comparison between mopeds and motorcycles isn't really valid. They are used for different reasons. Mopeds are generally used for quick, short-distance commutes where it would make more sense to operate vs a bulkier, costlier, and less economical motorcycle. Makes perfect sense- why use a 16 lb sledgehammer when a tack hammer will do a better job!

Well, if nobody minds, I'll stop by this site periodically to check things out once in a while. Take care everyone!

Re: The Efficiency Challenge !

gimmyjimmy /

here ya go,

hook long bungee cords to each others peds and do the "slingshot" routine,

like the "old man with suspenders" joke Fred told a while back.

Re: Thanks Everyone!

Ron Brown /

zx,

Do that, also, try a moped trip for pleasure. "It's the ride, not the destination." I sometimes ride a ped when a motorcycle would be more convenient just for the experience of the ride.

Ron

Re: Thanks Everyone!

Richard King /

Okay. Here is my $0.02. I've got both a Moped, well actually 2 a '76 Puch w/a biturbo, a 70 cc kit and a 2002 Derbi Atlantis, and a motorcycle. Both Mopeds are very nice an fast. I enjoy riding either one around in my "rural town" and to the commuter train station as well a short juants to the burbs.

Many moons ago, in my wilder youth, I rode a BSA 250, a BSA 441, and a Norton 750. Then I stopped. "Limey bikes" then were powered by the "Prince of Darkness" --Lucus electrical systems. I think you get the picture.

30 years later I bought a Moped, '76 Puch on a lark from a neighbor who was moving out of town. I had so much fun w/it. While having it worked on at the local Ped Shop I saw the Derbi Atlantis, took it for a test drive and bought it. Everybody told me I'd get the fever. Nah I'd say. Well a week ago I succomed to the fever, I bought a "71 restored purple pearl Honda 750cc chopper w/all the good stuff, trapp pipes, mild cam, ported, pumper carbs and a triple sprung extended front fork that doesn't pogo down the road. Scwheat!!

But believe me it is cool to cruise by the uppie Harley guys on either the Chopper or one of the Peds. However, the bigest kick I get, is parking my Moped w/the Harley's outside my favorite "watering hole". Balls? You bet, big brass ones.

In closing, whether its "bikes" or Peds, Peds will be around as long as there are young Dudes and Old Geezers like me who just enjoy riding, in the late afternoon, evening, and all day on weekends. Life is too short! See ya Rich

Re: Mopeds vs motorcycles

Well, here's my experience with going the moped route so far....

>Why do I prefer the moped over other forms of >transportation?...

>Overall cost.

Man, this is so great about the moped.....the cheapest new motorcycle I could find in my area was over $ 3,000, for a 200cc one..My new Avanti moped cost me less then $1,000 with all the extras....So, for the price of the cheapest motorcycle in my area I could have bought at least three of my new mopeds, rode one and set the extra ones aside as spares ! Another option, I could have bought a cheaper TFR Kinetic moped, for about $600 if I really wanted to go cheap, so that would have let me buy 5 mopeds for the cost of that one small motorcycle :)

registration costs 8.00 a year in NJ and no motorcycle test needed...also, no annual inspection needed as on a motorcycle...so, less hassle

>Efficiency.

>They get between 75 and 150 miles per gallon. Few motorcycles can get 75.<

Man, check out the mopeds made in India....quality control is something they have to work on, but once you get them setup you seem to have a pretty good bike ...Some Indian fellows I work with convinced me to try an Indian moped...Gas is expensive in India and the people are poor, so gas mileage rating is the MOST important factor when buying a bike there( horsepower and speed take a back seat to gas mileage over there)...My Avanti mopeds is rated at 95km/liter.. which comes out to something like over 225 miles per gallon ! It's no lie,check 'em out... I put 1 gallon of gas in mine, drive it for 100 miles and still have about 1/2 gallon left over, it's simply great !

>Simplicity.

>When I took a moped engine apart for the first time, I realized >that there was virtually nothing to it! There's less to go

>wrong and when something goes wrong, it's an easy fix.

This is exactly what I was looking for....simplicity,ruggedness, no breakdowns, no repair bills....just simple maintenance and change the spark plug once in awhile

>Individuality.

>Unless I'm riding with my friends, I never see another moped. >Almost every moped I see, I know the person.

We do seem to be in a small inner circle,enjoying a small brotherhood by mopeding in the USA.... But I don't care about being an individual so much...I'd rather that the moped and power-assisted bicycle ranks in the USA swelled much, much higher...that would get alot of dangerous car drivers off the road and ease traffic congestion . Increased numbers would also give us more political muscle to demand that roads become more two-wheel friendly,have special lanes created for us,let us use highway shoulders ,etc... it might also put a moped dealer/repair shop in my area instead of me having to drive 100 miles to reach one !

>Driver to drivee weight ratio.

>Motorcycles are turning into two-wheeled cars lately (Honda >Goldwing, for example). A lot of motorcycles can't even be

>lifted back onto their wheels should they fall over. I could >probably carry my moped, should the need arise. Not for

>several blocks or anything, but should I need to lift it out of >a hole or up onto a tall curb, I can. It's more of an extension

> of your body than something that you're just along for the ride >on.

I can't understand big bikes either.....more expensive then many cars and just as heavy...

And those guys that mess with the exhaust systems to make them louder should be ticketed every time they start one up, I'm sorry...every excuse Ive heard , like louder is safer, is pure B.S. !

>Space.

>They take up so little of it, you can park on the sidewalk.

I even park my moped in my house sometimes :)

I really think that a moped is safer then a motorcycle.... ! At under 30mph I can keep good control of my bike,avoiding an accident, even if some jackass in a car pulls an unbelievable stunt in front of me...it's a slow enough speed to react and recover...and my bike is light enough to body-handle it too...your two boots on the ground can really influence the path of a light moving moped... if I was doing 50 mph on a heavy motorcycle and a car dove out on me, forget it , the motorcycle would just be unstopable , pancake city !

I find that on the moped I tend to stay to the shoulders alot if they are available , clean and smooth...if the shoulder is wide, not bumpy with potholes, storm grates and not filled with parked cars I usually feel safer there then to be in the middle of the lane, having a car bumper inches directly behind me, a split-second from smooshing me like a bug.

No, there's too many retards in cars these days..I want to be mixing it up with car drivers as little as possible...I'd rather go slower,stay to the right side, out of their way,then to be out in the lane being forced to exceed the speed limit on a two-wheeled missle trying to escape their bumpers.

Hey, and you have to admit it, it is fun to LEGALLY take the lane ( when there is no shoulder )and while you're doing your incredible putt-putt moped speed all those

in-a-big-hurry-car drivers-with such incredibly-important lives that they have to drive dangerously and at excessive speeds are forced to drive behind you and just eat it ! Ha ! we are making the roads safer for everyone !

> The moped is efficiency at it's finest.

Why mopeds? Why not?

Yup,amen to that....

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